Luis Alberto Hernando Alzaga won the 101km CCC at the Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc (UTMB), holding top spot for 70km. He moved into first after 30km and by La Tete Aux Vents, 90km, he had a 13 minute lead. The Spanish runner finished in 10 hours, 28 minutes and 49 seconds. Thibaut Garrivier, French, was second in 10:39:01. Jiri Cipa, Czech Republic, finished third in 10:45:37.
The CCC is one of seven races at the UTMB running festival, which is one of the premier trail running events of the year. The best runners in the world descend on Chamonix, France, to take part in a range of races, from the 55km OCC to the full 171km UTMB.
“The closest I came was three minutes behind Alzaga,” said Garrivier.
“But the I don’t think he liked that, he was nervous about it, so I dropped back to eight minutes behind him,” Garrivier joked.
Cipa reached 80km and began to think he could podium. It was the farthest he had ever run in race.
“I felt good and I knew the guys behind me were about 10 minutes behind me,” he said. “I then went into the cold mountains and they were 11 minutes behind. I said to myself I must go. So I am here, and it is nice, it’s a dream for me.”
Chinese athlete Jiasheng Shen opened a huge lead at the start of the race. It seems to be the tactics of many Chinese runners who have started the UTMB races with an aggressive pace. But each of them so far, including Jiasheng, struggled to maintain the effort and dropped down the field.
Ragna Debats won the women’s race in 12:10:33.